Tuesday, August 09, 2011
The Steamboat Ticonderoga is the last remaining side wheel paddle boat with a vertical beam engine. She was built in 1906 and saw service on Lake Champlain until 1950 carrying freight and passengers on various routes and played an important role in the economy of the region. She ferried troops during both world wars. Farm animals and new cars could be seen on deck as she transited Lake Champlain.
By 1950 she was obsolete and could not compete with more modern vessels and was scheduled for scrapping. By a twist of fate, she was saved from destruction when a friend of Electra Havemeyer Webb convinced her to purchase the vessel for her growing museum in Shelburne, VT. After several years of trying to make a go of operating as a tourist vessel, it was decided that the Ticonderoga should be permanently moved to the museum. A special rail line was built to slowly move her the few miles to her final destination which took 55 days. Today she is enjoyed by a constant flow of visitors.
The Ticonderoga is maintained in excellent condition and nearly all of the spaces on the ship are available to visitors including the engine and boiler rooms. For anyone interested in classic American vessels, this is a must see.